The United States Mint is no longer selling 2008-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagles. While standalone eagles sold out over a year ago (on Jan. 23, 2009), collectors could still purchase them from the US Mint through the 2008 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Set.
But no longer. The uncirculated set sold out on Thursday after being available for nearly 18 months. They were released on August 7, 2008, for a price of $37.95.
One may wonder why they were on sale for so long. In order to focus on the unprecedented bullion coin demand in 2009, the Mint canceled collector proof and uncirculated 2009-dated eagles, as well as the 2009 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Set. With no replacement last year, the Mint simply kept the 2008s on their store shelves.
In addition to the Silver Eagle, the set also includes a 2008 Sacagawea Golden Dollar from Denver, and four 2008 Presidential $1 coins struck in Philadelphia honoring former Presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and Martin Van Buren.
The $37.95 price was actually attractive since purchasing all of those coins in the secondary market easily surpassed $40.
With the sell out, collectors have a clearer idea of the final 2008-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle mintage. The Mint sold 436,702 alone, and the most recent sales report indicates 98,896 of the 2008 sets left their doors. Combining these numbers, the eagle mintage is minimally 535,598.
As of this writing, the US Mint has not announced when the 2010 proof or uncirculated eagles or the 2010 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Set will go on sale. The bullion 2010 American Eagle Silver coins were released on Jan. 19. Their sales topped 2.4 million within two days, and went on to record their best January ever. If such demand continues, collectors worry will rise over whether the 2010s will be canceled like the 2009s were.